CEO at CAT Technologies
What was CAT`s most innovative project during this year?
Javier Serafini: this year we created a Business Intelligence area. We incorporated technology and knowledge, data mining specialists, people with a statistic background expertise, who are able to do a professional data management. We also started working in a knowledge base of our own collaborators, to determine how they perform the best. We made a match with clients who respond to the profile where those agents are more successful. We took into account variables such as age range, schedules, product, and country zone, among others. We began to outline CAT’s ideal collaborator profile, based on modifications that are made from the moment a resume is introduced in the company. We determined, at each point in that value chain, what data we had to start releasing. We collected data, selected a mass to analyze and performed the first cross-check with positive results. And as CAT manages several multi-channel projects, we started telling our customers that today we can go one step further and start relieving consumer preferences in real time, providing a lot of valuable information. The reception was very good.
Was there any result that surprised you during that internal work?
Javier Serafini: The knowledge we have upon our employees and candidates allowed us to find high value data that we processed, analyzed and drew conclusions more than interesting. That information was the key to reducing our employee turnover in a 50% in the second semester of the year and to decrease the absenteeism level.
What is the balance for this year 2016?
Javier Serafini: CAT surfed very well a year that was recessive in the general economic activity of the country. In the midst of these conditions we grew a little, which is enough. Most of all, we expanded our staff in San Luis, where 280 people are currently working in our company. In our centers of Buenos Aires there are 1600 collaborators. We are setting up the last expansion of the offices located in Mitre Street, and having this important capacity will allow us to look at 2017 with the perspective of getting bigger. During this year, CAT gave results to its clients and for that they renewed their trust in us. In terms of balance, the operation was very good. CAT became the largest contact center in the City of Buenos Aires.
How can you explain San Luis`s growth?
Javier Serafini: When we acquired the company, it did not have the scale that we considered adequate to equip it with all the necessary support elements: quality, technology, HR, marketing, etc. The reality is that 80 people weren´t enough, so we made a plan for a rapid expansion. In a year we reached 180 people and we continue growing. If we analyze in a precise way the operation of San Luis, the truth is that it operates very well. We have very good management and resources. We grew with clients who were already there and also with customers from Buenos Aires who wanted to try the place to do some benchmark. And the results were very positive. Today we are the first employer brand of the city of La Punta. CAT is proud of this achievement.
What is your position regarding services importation?
Javier Serafini: I fully support the CACC`s (Argentine Chamber of Contact Centers) position on this topic. It seems to me that we have to pay attention to the impact produced by the services importation. This is an industry that has a unique job creation capability. We need to take into account its speed and cost, but mainly the opportunities it offers to young boys by giving them their first job and also by reinserting older people into the economic activity. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. With a little support this industry can generate 300,000 jobs. And how do you support it? By decreasing taxes. We have the example of the software law, which allows companies in that sector to use IVA (taxes) for the payment of employer charges. Governments should allow the industry to become more competitive.
How do you perceived the regional situation?
In terms of costs, we are similar to Brazil. There are countries that nowadays have very important advantages, such as Paraguay, Peru or Colombia. They are very competitive squares. But as I just said, I do not think that to return to the path of competitiveness we have to depend on the exchange rate. I think we have to analyze the industry tax structure and readapt to it.
What expectations do you have for 2017?
Yesterday I received the forecast for 2017/2018 where I perceived a scenario of growth. We are thinking two years ahead, because it is an interesting lapse of time to make the decisions that are made in a company of this size. I am always optimistic; we have our expectations set in 2017.